Ghana’s former Chief Electoral Commissioner Kwadwo Afari-Gyan asserted here on Wednesday that strong cooperation and collaboration from all stakeholders were critical in achieving credible elections and good governance.
Chairing a two-day Post-Election Learning Forum organized by STAR Ghana for state and non-state actors in Ghana’s electoral process, Afari-Gyan noted that the only way to strengthen Ghana’s democracy was to learn from past mistakes and move forward.
“Failure can be a powerful impetus to learn and if we can find the reason for the good and the bad, the richer will be our experience sharing and learning. Achieving peaceful and credible election is a shared responsibility,” he stressed.
Afari-Gyan, who retired as Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) in June 2015 after a 21-year service, therefore called for collaborative efforts in ensuring that Ghana’s democracy remained the leading light in Africa.
‘’We are all part of the solution of Ghana’s electoral problems. The Electoral Commission can never do it alone. A credible election is the only legitimate door; the only legitimate entrance to the democratic house. Good elections are the starting point of the entire process that we refer to as good governance,” he urged.
Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness (STAR ) Ghana is funded by UK Aid, DANIDA and the EU.
Its post-election program seeks to throw light on the achievements as well as the challenges faced during the 2016 election in Ghana.
Chair-person of the Electoral Commission (EC) Charlotte Osei reiterated the call for genuine stakeholder cooperation to ensure credible and inclusion elections in the country.
“We cannot have credible elections without the media and without civil society involvement, and the degree of involvement and the collaboration of all these state and non-state actors throughout the process impact significantly on how successful elections are. We assure you that whatever challenges you identify, areas where you think the EC can do better we will take those learning experiences on board and also include it in our future programs,” Osei insisted.
Ghana effected its third major transition of power from one ruling party to the other on January 7, 2017, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who had defeated incumbent John Dramani Mahama in the December 2016 election was sworn into office.
The 2016 election was the first time an incumbent president had failed to secure a second term since the country returned to multiparty electoral democracy in 1992.
Program Director of the STAR Ghana project, Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, noted that such a post-election review was important in improving the process. Enditem